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Vancouver firefighters douse flames in Chinatown apartment fire

Two people were rescued from the unit, but a cat died.
Firefighters doused flames in Chinatown this morning.

Fire fighters were busy in Chinatown Sunday morning after flames engulfed an apartment in Chinatown.

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services was called around 7:45 a.m. on March 19 to a fire at 619 Gore St., near the intersection of Keefer, says Asst. Chief Jarret Gray.

A fire had broken out in a suite on the third floor. Crews were able to attack from the inside and outside to keep flames from spreading, says Gray, but the unit the fire originated was badly damaged.

"We contained the fire to one suite for fire damage, but it was a complete loss inside the suite," he says.

Two people were in the unit, along with a cat, he adds. The two people were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene by emergency medical teams and didn't need to go to a hospital. Unfortunately, the cat died at the scene.

While the building was evacuated during the fire, all residences were able to return except for three units: the one where the fire originated, one below due to water damage, and one neighbouring unit due to smoke damage. The city's emergency social service is helping house six displaced residents.

Gray notes the building is an older structure and didn't have a fire suppression system in place inside, aside from some fire extinguishers in common spaces.

A cause is still being determined, he adds.

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